Printing changes slow Saturday paper deliveries

Whidbey News-Times subscribers are asked to be patient as Sound Publishing overcomes its “growing pains” and gets the deliveries back on schedule.

“Thank you for your patience,” said Marcia Van Dyke, News-Times publisher, after another day of Saturday phone calls from subscribers asking, “Where’s my paper?”

Saturday’s paper should be in the paper boxes by 8 a.m., but the company hasn’t been meeting that goal for several months.

“The Saturday paper’s been constantly late,” Van Dyke said, emphasizing that solving the problem is her top priority.

The Whidbey News-Times’ parent company, Sound Publishing, has experienced rapid growth over the last year, buying existing papers and starting new papers in the Puget Sound region.

Adding to the tumult is the relocation of the printing plant from Burlington to Everett.

“A year ago the plant was printing 15 titles, and now it’s 85,” Van Dyke said. “We’re suffering from terrible growing pains.”

Wednesday’s Whidbey News-Times hasn’t been as affected by the problems because it’s always been an afternoon paper. The deadline for delivery is 6 p.m. Prior to the printing plant change some people got it earlier, but now all subscribers should receive it by the 6 p.m. deadline, Van Dyke said.

Saturday’s delays have been particularly attributed to the high number of advertising inserts common to that issue. The inserting process has been slow, but should improve considerably when new equipment arrives at the plant later this month.

Van Dyke said the entire company is working hard to get deliveries back on schedule, which she hopes will happen soon.

“Again, thank you for your patience,” she said.

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